Does God Have a Personality?

Scott Adams of Dilbert fame asks whether or not God has a personality. Personally I have no idea, God has never spoken to me…not so I noticed anyway, yet I am a christian and believe…some may mock and laugh but I really don’t care, my faith gives me benefits that I find, so who cares what someone else thinks.

But Scott Adams does wonder…Does God have a Personality?

The religious view is that God has a personality of sorts, albeit one that is often unfathomable. And that means God has some sort of intentions, ambitions, goals, or whatever the God version of those impulses might be. If God had none of those impulses, he would just float in space doing nothing.

The problem with the idea that God has a human-like personality is that human personalities are nothing but weaknesses and defects that we romanticize. For example, I might be kind to others because I want them to be nice to me, or perhaps I simply feel guilty when I’m not nice. God wouldn’t have feelings of guilt and he wouldn’t need a strategy just to be loved. He would have everything he needed all the time. Logically, God couldn’t have a personality in the sense that humans do because our personalities are expressions of our defects and our DNA and our neediness.  

For example, if you’re ambitious, that’s a romantic way of saying you’re afraid of failure, or you’re greedy, or you want to impress someone. God would not need any of that. Pick any human personality trait and it is either trivial or it is based on some sort of human limitation.

Even your sense of humor is based on a brain limitation. As a professional humorist, I make my living by writing thoughts that the normal human brain can’t process without a hiccup that triggers a laugh response. God wouldn’t have a sense of humor because he always knows how the joke ends, and no idea gives him a hiccup when processing a thought.

You can pick any personality trait and find the human defect that is behind it. Are you a highly social person? It probably means you have a fear of being alone, or you’re so needy that you have to have the approval of others to feel right. Would the creator of universe have social needs? It seems unlikely.

I don’t believe God has any human personality at all..I believe God, yes I know some readers don’t believe but too bad, exists in a realm that we have no possible way of understanding…we only know what we find around us and so people conceptualise God with human traits.

Adams asks:

My question of the day is this: If you believe in a traditional God, what personality traits do you think he or she possesses that are not based on defects?

 

 


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  • Rimutaka

    “my faith gives me benefits that I find, so who cares what someone else thinks.” precisely, my opinion is that’s the whole point of religion(s).

    The idea of a God with a personality diminishes the whole God concept. I think any God to be beyond human comprehension and personification of God is human pride and error. What does the term traditional God mean? Wiki “The Greek philosopher Xenophanes (570–480 BC) said that “the greatest god” resembles man “neither in form nor in mind” Both Judaism and Islam reject an anthropomorphic deity, believing that God is beyond human comprehension.”

    Having read much on various religions and given it a lot of thought I think it boils down to each individual has their own personalised version of God, and that’s how it should be. The greater question should be ‘For what purpose?” My answer would be to make me a better person.

  • rockape

    A very warped sense of humour!

    • Bad__Cat

      Just like my God.

  • blokeintakapuna

    Don’t know about “personality” but He certainly has a Sense of Humour.

    He proclaimed He would fill the Earth with beautiful woman in all corners of the World… And help men understand them.

    Then He made the World round… And laughed and laughed.

  • Jimmie

    I would have said that if you look at how God is described in the Bible you get a picture of contrasting qualities which can be hard to fathom from a superficial glance.

    If you think of God as described in the Old Testament which tends to emphasize His attributes of holiness and perfection and harsh justice then you would say that there is no hope for anyone – whats the point of knowing a God who demands perfection from an imperfect human race.

    However in the New Testament His qualities of mercy and forgiveness are shown: best summed up in the scripture: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

    One question which has been asked a lot is if God knew people were going to be a bunch of ratbags why did He bother creating them with free will – why not just make a bunch of perfect robots who monotonously chant praises to Him?

    The answer to this perhaps lies in His personality: Before creation God existed forever by Himself. Perhaps he desired the concept of ‘friendship’ where He shared His existence with other beings (ie people) who were able to think and decide for themselves.

    The only way for this to happen without creating robots was to give free will to humans so that they could freely choose to ‘befriend’ God or not. In time this led to the the immortal Biblical events of Adam and Eve’s sin followed by the redemption provided from Jesus and the cross.

  • Kimbo

    “If you believe in a traditional God, what personality traits do you think he or she possesses that are not based on defects?
    If by “traditional God” you mean that reveled in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments – Yes.

    However, because God is so great, and quantitatively and qualitatively different from us, the only way he can reveal himself is through analogies, i.e., two things that are otherwise dissimilar, but are at one point the same. We cannot know God unless he reveals himself in the partial pictures which make up our everyday life.

    The great Reformer John Calvin described it well when he likened God revealing himself to us as being like a parent cooing and babbling and engaging in baby-talk to an infant.

    For example, “God is a rock” does not mean he is a 20 tonne piece of granite.

    “For I am a jealous God” does not mean he has petty and volatile human emotions of a petulant teenager. Instead, within the context of the covenant relationships he forms with Israel, and later the Church, he expects faithfulness, just as a married couple are faithful to one another.

    Most Christian heresies regarding the nature of God stem from the inability to distinguish analogy from a literal description.

    Thus endeth the lesson.

  • cows4me

    I’m sure he has a wicked sense of humour, must have, invented bloody cows.

  • Jeremy

    If faith ( belief without evidence) makes people feel good then fine. Its when those people ( not WO) try to impose those beliefs on to others, including brainwashing their children, that it becomes an issue. For what its worth, something that only exists in our minds because we believe it to be true cannot have a personality other than what we imagine for it.

  • Col

    I think we have a real God, if we look at what we hold dear to ourselves,
    I say we have a God among us, and he has walked into our lives without us knowing, all who are on this site, some stay, and some come have a look and go and come back, some look and never come back, even the retarded NZ Herald jurnos come seeking wisdom from CAM.

  • Random66

    If I look to Jesus as being the human form of God revealed, many words come to mind, three being; Truth, Honour and Courage. Actually another three would be; Just, Compassionate and Loving. Not bad really when anything can be defined by these words, but each to their own view.

    • Kimbo

      Good theology.

      Christ, who is fully human, and fully God (the Word in human form according to John 1:14) is the clearest expression of the nature and personality of God.

      Hence the feast of Christmas

      • Random66

        Well that’s high praise coming from you Kimbo. Thanks.

  • timemagazine

    God was, is and will always be at our anh70s ready to help us,it is us, who, paradoxically, stand

  • timemagazine

    Sorry, for the mess I keep on making. I wanted to add that it us standing in His/Her way sometimes.

  • Rodger T

    Does god have a personality? Why yes,yes I do.

  • Bunswalla

    If you believe the bible, supposedly the word of god, then god is a shallow, superficial, doubting, vindictive, capricious and above all insecure piece of work. In short, not the sort of bloke you’d want your daughter to go out with.

    “God” demands you obey him, follow his teachings and denounce his enemies. His rules are bizarre and illogical, and in order to even contemplate giving credence to the god concept requires you to suspend disbelief on an epic scale.

    If you follow his teachings you’ll be rewarded when you die. If you fail to do this you’ll come to a very nasty end indeed. And yet this “loving god” requires you to believe all this mumbo-jumbo without a single shred of evidence that he even exists.

    Apparently, if you require evidence to have faith, then you don’t really believe – for some unfathomable reason you have to believe BECAUSE there’s no evidence he exists.

    In summary if god does exist and he does have a personality, he’s a bit of an arsehole. Probably got that from his mum and dad.

    • Rodger T

      Don`t hold back Buns ,tell us what you really think : )

      I like this quote from ol` Lucius Annaeus Seneca ,

      Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.

  • Tauris

    Oh God! Give me Enid Byton or the Tooth Fairy any time

  • Brendon Taylor

    While we are in this mortal state, we only have references of this life to fathom the omnipotence of God in all things you care to mention, you can say a lot about God that I am sure are very flattering or very derogatory, but know this, that God is no respector of persons, he has a plan that was set in motion before this Earth was made, whenever you believe that to be. He is unchanging, and while you may think he was different in the Old Testament as compared to the New Testament, he was not, we were the ones who changed. The atonement of Christ changed our standing with him. Sure he sets us challenges & trials, so that we may prove ourselves, but I saw this written today, that “life is an open book test” and I’m not even sure you have to get 50% to pass. So you can take what little understanding I feel I have and add it to your own if you like. But probably takes one to know one.

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